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An alternative look at Vasquez's shooting woes

With three and a half minutes remaining in the first half Monday night, Greivis Vasquez drove into the lane and drew the attention of several Chaminade defenders. Without hesitation, Vasquez fired a pass to Eric Hayes, who scored and was fouled by a late-arriving Chaminade forward Matt Cousins. Hayes sank the ensuing free throw to give Maryland an eight-point lead.

Vasquez -- a preseason all-ACC first team selection who led the Terrapins in scoring last season -- continued to struggle with his shot in the first round of the Maui Invitational. He made 2 of 7 attempts and tallied six points. He is shooting 30 percent (12 for 40) from the field and averaging 7.5 points in four games this season.

While Vasquez has been visibly frustrated with his off-kilter shot, his value to Maryland's offense has decreased only marginally. Part of that has to do with the level of competition the Terrapins have faced so far. But part of that also has to do with Vasquez's diverse offensive talents and the threat his presence poses to opposing defenses.

Against Chaminade, Vasquez tallied five assists. He is averaging a team-leading 6.5 assists per game thus far. Beyond that, Vasquez nearly always draws a crowd of defenders when he has the ball in his hands, which creates open looks for teammates. So not only is he finding teammates, he's helping them get into better scoring position simply by being engaged in the offensive flow.

This is not to say that Vasquez's shooting woes won't eventually catch up to the Terrapins. He is their most dynamic threat, but only if he is scoring 12-18 points per game. But if Vasquez can continue to find other ways to play a role in Maryland's offensive proficiency, he'll at least be able to contribute until his scoring touch resurfaces.

By Steve Yanda  |  November 24, 2009; 9:09 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Very insightful perspective. Three things to add:

GV's shooting woes have helped underscore how much Eric Hayes and Sean Mosley have improved offensively (particularly Mosley).

If not for GV's increased maturity, his slump would have hindered the team instead of allowing other teammates to flourish.

Once he regains his shooting, the Terps will be even more dangerous. They are beating the teams that they should by by 30 points with their number 1 scorer in a serious slump. Can't wait to see what happens when he breaks out of this slump.

Posted by: larry31 | November 24, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

he just needs to be more disciplined with his shot selection and driving...

taking 2 offensive charging fouls in the first 3 mins was totally careless and unnecssary...

also forcing up shots in traffic...

just be cool fool and it will all fall into place...

Posted by: deadskin | November 24, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Look guys, let's be sincere. Vasquez is a commensurate player who shows microscopic moments of illustriousness. However, I don't think he will ever endure a Ty Lawson, John Scheyer, John Lucas, etc.

I saw Vasquez at the end of last year's season opposing North Carolina and NC State. He put on a "clinic" each night. Later, he fizzled and returned home with the rest of the losers.

He might have the successfulness you so precariously need from someone on the Terps Team. Why not try an "demeanor adaptation". His "Bozo-like" attainment in Raleigh may return and bite him.

When all is uttered and settled, players such as Vasquez, who appear to have rouge and makeup on his chops, should relish a little "humble pie".

In concluding, it's the "same old, same old" story from Maryland. A repeat of the "Lefty" years.

I recall Coach Lefty, when gainfully employed, went around to anyone that would hearken, asserting Maryland would be the "UCLA of the East". Smith's only response was, "He should worry about becoming the "North Carolina of the East."

Say what you will, but Smith's comments were more factual than Lefty's. I think Lefty won one ACC Tournament Title. As for National Titles, I'm still waiting on Lefty!

Posted by: dumpondook | November 25, 2009 2:48 AM | Report abuse

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